The Upanishads are like flashes of lightning

The first two verses of the Kena Upanishad are: By whose will and direction does the mind move? Under whose orders· does the vital force (prana:) move? Whose will is it that causes men to speak?. Whose light directs the eye and the ear? The answer to this great enquiry is given in the following verse.  It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the tongue of the tongue, the life of the life and the eye of the eye. The wise, relieved of the erroneous notion, become immortal when they have left this body I should just say these are things which I’ve heard from my teacher, my own teacher. They’ve helped me and I’ll pass them on. The Kena Upanishad begins with a question: by whom or by what? The Upanishads are like revelations, ecstatic, mystic utterances. Some of them declare.  Some of them …

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Knots of the heart, vasana’s and sanskara’s

The word in the Mundaka  is singular, ‘the knot of the heart’, but two other Upanishads, using the same metaphor, make it plural, ‘the knots of the heart’.  The verse in Chandogya Upanishad, perhaps the oldest of the Upanishads, says: When the food of the mind is pure, the essence becomes pure; when the essence is pure, memory becomes firm; when memory becomes firm, there is a falling away (prati-moksha) of all the knots of the heart. The Katha Upanishad speaks of ‘knots of the heart’ In fact, Shankara commenting on all three passages explains the word as a plural meaning.  (This does not mean that other  commentators could not use the phrase ‘the  knot of the heart’ to refer to the cosmic knot of Ignorance, which apparently entangles the Real with the Unreal.) Returning to the Mundaka passage. The ‘knot’ stands for the tangle of impulses of desire and …

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Mandukya Upanishad with Gaudapada’s Karika

The Mandukya Upanishad is very short, only twelve verses. Sri Shankara calls it the essence of the Upanishads, and our teacher’s teacher, Shri  Dada also said this is one of the three Upanishads which if studied will give the whole of the spirit of those Upanishads. The waking state, the dreaming state, and the dreamless sleep state. Now these are regarded as key concepts of the beginning of the Upanishad. The first state is awareness of external things. The Upanishad is very short, only twelve verses. Sri Shankara calls it the essence of the Upanishads, and our teacher’s teacher, Shri  Dada also said this is one of the three Upanishads which if studied will give the whole of the spirit of those Upanishads. The waking state, the dreaming state, and the dreamless sleep state. Now these are regarded as key concepts of the beginning of the Upanishad. The first state …

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